2012 is Going Mobile

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on December 19, 2011

IBA Group
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

When a company like Intel reorganises itself around mobile technologies, it is clear that something has changed.

And this is no surprise. Take a look around at how IT is being consumed today and it is clear that there has been a mobile revolution. According to the latest Gartner forecast, worldwide tablet sales will reach 63.6 million units in 2011– a 261.4% increase from its 17.6 million sales in 2010. Tablet sales are expected to reach 326.3 million units by the end of 2015.

So the world is organising access to computing power through tablets and smart phones much more than ever before – not through desktop PCs or even laptops.

The smartphone and tablet revolution may have started with consumers, but it is moving into the corporation. Many businesses are actively exploring how to increase productivity through the use of tablets – and they are about to become more popular than the regular PC.

Gartner estimates that the combined sales of smartphones and tablets will be 44% greater than PC sales this year, and by the end of 2014, the installed base of computing devices running mobile operating systems will surpass the total installed base of all PC systems.

That’s just two years away – more mobile devices than traditional PCs installed around the world. With such a change in hardware there is also a need for new software too and experts who really understand how to write code for tablets.

Porting old code can work, but doesn’t exploit the power of the tablet. The real winners will be the companies that realise not only what the hardware can do, but how to write new forms of code that take advantage of this new mobile business paradigm.

Companies explore Eastern Europe for IT and software development

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on November 22, 2011

IBA Group
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

In my last blog here, I outlined how a need to spread risk has led to a marked increase in companies exploring the CEE region for their IT and software development needs. But the growth in outsourced services available from the CEE region is not restricted to IT alone.

The region has highly educated people working within the service sector meaning that there are many BPO opportunities in the region. Many organisations – such as international giants like DHL – have setup very large operations serving the whole of Europe from a CEE base in a variety of different business processes.

But now there are even international lawyers exploring the region for Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO). This story in The Lawyer magazine about US law firm White & Case exploring the relative merits of Poland, Hungary, or the Czech Republic is just such an example.

White & Case already have resource in the Philippines, but are worried about their entire back office being located offshore in a single location – just like many of the IT firms that have explored a risk diversification strategy.

Every executive responsible for outsourcing needs to consider both natural disasters and political risk when locating a function offshore. Though many companies explore outsourcing as a means of reducing cost, if the offshore function fails entirely then it won’t be cost savings that are under discussion, it may be how to save your company.

It is clear that the IT sector in CEE has expanded allowing entrepreneurs to start offering many IT-enabled BPO services. All these new services help the local CEE economy to develop as well as offering a great place for companies to locate new services and to reduce their own risk.

CEE is more attractive than ever as uncertainty looms

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on October 25, 2011

IBA Group
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

When the global financial crisis struck the world in 2008, many predicted that there would be a boom in offshore outsourcing. It didn’t really happen.

Why? Because at that time most companies slashed all project budgets and retrenched employees. It was a time when nobody was certain of what the future would bring and it costs money to run outsourcing projects – even if they can create longer-term savings. Nobody wanted to invest all that money in setting up in a remote location hoping for gains in the future.

We are once again in an uncertain time, but this time there is a far more mature option for sourcing in the central and eastern European (CEE) region. The setup costs for running a project in the CEE region are far lower than for a full-blown offshoring programme where work needs to be transferred to India or China.

So there is a much more credible alternative available if companies in western Europe are seeking to stabilise costs in the short-term and build a pan-European delivery model for the long-term.

The CEE region has never tried to compete head on with countries like India in terms of absolute labour cost, the advantage has always been the cultural compatibility with Europe, the expertise, and the ability to be close to the customer – it’s possible to make a day trip to a development team from any other place in Europe.

And now, with the economy looking uncertain once again in both the US and Europe it seems that the nearshoring option is looking far more attractive than the full offshore model, because much less initial investment is needed to make it happen.

We have been talking about the advantages of CEE for a long time on this blog, but it is interesting to see that the issues in the wider European economy are making it even more attractive to work with the region. Have you taken another look at how nearshoring compares recently?

The age of the CIO as IT leader is over?

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on September 19, 2011

IBA Group
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

IT is changing fast and it can be hard to keep up, but companies in the IT services business know that one thing is certain, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is changing fast.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is becoming more involved in technology decisions in many companies as IT moves itself more closely to the business across all industry sectors.

It’s no surprise. Think for a moment about the big difference between Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Outsourcing. With BPO, the person commissioning the work is a business leader, the head of finance, the head of HR, the head of operations… they don’t really care about the underlying technology. They just want to buy a solution that works for their business.

Now think about IT services. IT suppliers have worked with the CIO for many years – selling solutions to the technology head. Yet the role of the CIO seems to have changed during the economic slowdown. Companies require their CIO, CFO, and business leaders to work more closely than ever in ensuring that the business benefits from the decision made by all the executives.

Take a look at what IT expert Angelica Mari says in her book ‘Reboot: Leading IT in the information age’: “The CIO is quickly losing their traditional power base focused on the ownership of physical assets. The basement stuffed full of ‘kit’ is no more. In this environment, only the fittest – or smartest – will survive.”

But why has this change taken place? The past couple of years have been tough for everyone. The role of the CIO has evolved and changed because IT has become more important than ever – in all industries.

In travel, it’s probably CRM that is the most important investment right now. In government it is technology that can reduce transaction costs… In most industries, IT has become so pervasive that the companies could not operate without it. So, with IT becoming more strategic than ever, how come many industry analysts believe that the age of the CIO as technology leader is over?

Outsourcing to help Europe return to growth?

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on September 6, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

In the past three years or so, since the initial credit crunch and then global economic slowdown, outsourcing as a business strategy has taken a knock.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with it as a strategy. It’s just that outsourcing usually involves change, some change in processes and the way things are done. That needs planning and transition, so even if the future state saves money, many firms have declined to go through the process of getting there while survival has been the priority.

If you look back to the time around 2008/2009, most firms were probably focused on budget revisions, retrenching people they cannot justify keeping, and targeting business activities to those that create the most immediate return – completely focusing on getting through the recession.

But talk to most firms today and there is a more interesting and positive picture emerging. There remains the fear of a double-dip recession in countries such as the UK, and Germany is starting to struggle under the weight of supporting the Eurozone, but the major economies of Europe have been growing again – albeit slower than we used to enjoy. There is certainly a growth in business optimism and a greater desire to spend on improving company operations.

Firms are exploring how best to ride the growth when it comes, and that does involve a large amount of planning how to work with partners. The focus is now on positioning a trusted group of partners together and aiming for growth over this decade.

The biggest change in behaviour will be the desire to leverage existing assets over the next couple of years. When firms have already sunk cash into developing expertise and systems in-house, they won’t just discard that knowledge overnight.

It’s been a tough time over the past couple of years, but the new decade looks like an exciting place to be and outsourcing within Europe is going to be an important business strategy that helps us all return to growth.

IBA Gomel celebrates 10 years

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on August 4, 2011

On July 27, 2011, IBA Gomel, the second largest software development center of IBA Group, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Numerous guests gathered in the Belarus Railway Sports & Cultural Center to wish all the best to IBA Gomel management and employees.

Igor Khobnya, Director of IBA Gomel, opened the event, saying: “We are celebrating our anniversary with a big family. Today, they are all here – our employees, their families, our clients, and our partners. All of them together have been creating our company during these ten years.”

See video (Russian only)

Sergei Levteev, IBA Group President, went on to say: “We are all a unified team that works for the common cause to implement projects for our customers. That is why the today’s anniversary is not only a holiday for IBA Gomel. It is a holiday for all of us. I would like to congratulate you – us – on this anniversary and to wish your commander the same confidence that he had all these years and I am sure will have in the future, and to all of you, to your families health and prosperity.”

See video (Russian only)

Valentin Kazan, IBA Group Vice President, added: “In my view, to open a development center in Gomel was a great idea. It decorated the region, and made Gomel an interesting and attractive city for young people to work here, to get pleasure, to work with their families. We receive lots of positive references from customers and I see that there is a sort of competition between Gomel and Minsk teams, and Gomel never loses and in some cases performs even better than Minsk.”

See video (Russian only)

Matthias Karius, Supplier Relationship Manager at IBM Germany, recalled a project that was implemented for a Swiss customer. IBA Gomel was able to deploy a team of 50 people in a very short time. “Ten years? Looks like it was yesterday,” he said.

See video

Winners of the online Quiz (Викторина) received prizes.

IBA Gomel celebrates 10 years IBA Gomel celebrates 10 years
IBA Gomel celebrates 10 years IBA Gomel celebrates 10 years

Miss IBA was announced.

Miss IBA

Thinking of security

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on July 26, 2011

When you think of security, what image do you think of?
A large secure fence around the office? Or perhaps you imagine a big dog and security guard patrolling that space between the office building and fence?

But what about cyber-security?

A few days ago British newspaper, ‘The Sun’, was attacked by international hacking group Lulz Security – the front page was replaced by a notice proclaiming the death of News Corporation CEO, Rupert Murdoch.

The same hackers destroyed almost all the main government websites in Brazil last month.

And as networks and systems get more international, with service providers operating in one country, delivering to clients in another, who may be serving end users in another, how can you begin to protect the systems that are vital to your company?

Fraud, organised crime, electronic espionage, IP theft, terrorism, activism, and even warfare can call fall under the wider label of cyber-crime and all can be perpetrated without much risk if you know how to cover your online tracks. And criminals know how to cover their tracks.
If large governments and major corporations cannot withstand sustained attacks then there is a temptation to give up and feel that it is not possible to protect your company. If they can’t do it, then who can?

But companies can be protected from all but the most sustained attack through a rigorous security audit that examines every possible opportunity for a network attack.

However, companies today are really just loose networks of partners. A large company may have a supplier for the IT network, another for the phones, another for the broadband pipe, another for the local hardware security…

For any security policy to work, all these suppliers need to be considered as genuine partners. Perhaps a deal was entered into in the past as part of a cost-saving outsourcing strategy, but when you consider how important every link in the chain really is, perhaps you need to review your outsourcing relationships if you can’t already call your suppliers true partners?

Is ‘outsourcing’ dead?

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on June 9, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

After all, what is outsourcing? It is just the purchase of a service from another company. It could be catering, it could be plumbing, or it could be IT. So, outsourcing has taken place for as long as companies have bought services from experts.

In the past decade, many in the media have declared ‘outsourcing’ itself as an industry, but I think we have moved on from this broken jargon. The time has come to stop thinking of outsourcing as something good or bad, and to just accept that all companies use outsourcing to some degree.

There are two key points to remember.

Most companies are not vertically integrated. They don’t do everything in-house. They don’t do their own payroll, or accounts. The Apple computer company may design new products in California, but a contractor assembles them in China.

Companies now sit in the middle of an ebbing and flowing supply chain that is maintained by contractors, temporary workers, internal staff, consultants… all working to steer the company in a single direction. But though the end result is the same, the way people are paid for their work is entirely different to earlier models of work where everyone is an employee of the same company and is paid according to their grade, or the time they put in.

So outsourcing is no longer the scourge of the media, the stealer of jobs. It is merely one more business strategy that allows a company to access resource in a flexible way – usually more specialised than the people on the payroll.

The concept of outsourcing is alive and a part of 21st century business, but perhaps the word outsourcing is about to die quietly.

We are about to enter a new era of mainframes?

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on May 10, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Ask a computer science student in the US or Western Europe what technologies they are studying, and what they want to work with in future, and it is almost one hundred per cent certain they won’t say mainframes.

The mainframe computer – bedrock of the computing industry – has been apparently in decline since the IBM PC invaded desks with DOS, and subsequently Windows, from Microsoft. Yet, though consumers don’t use mainframes and students have no interest in them, it does not mean their use has ceased entirely.

Mainly large organisations with complex legacy systems, such as retail banking or life insurance, have extensive mainframe estates. And even where the hardware itself has remained unchanged for many years, the software continues to require updates due to product changes, new regulations, and changes in the law.

So if nobody is studying how to maintain these systems, or the programming languages used to modify them, then how can those important industries still rely on the mainframe?

There are several strong pockets of mainframe resource located around the world. Eastern Europe, and particularly the former Soviet bloc, has a deep pool of expertise in both the ongoing maintenance of these systems – and developing new software for them.

This is a classic example of how outsourcing to an offshore service provider can be about more than just the cost of service. If your legacy systems are running in COBOL on an IBM mainframe, yet the people cannot be found locally to modify the code, then outsourcing is the natural solution. Forget cost; go offshore for access to the skills you need just to keep your business running.

Mainframes are not going to die just yet. Many large organisations have systems that cannot be wound-up quickly, and as applications move further into the cloud, perhaps we are about to enter a new era of mainframes?

South Africa to rival Eastern Europe in outsourcing?

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on April 20, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

I was down in Cape Town, South Africa, last week. This is a market that was very strong about five years ago – they really were the place that everyone was exploring for European call centres, but then for some reason they went off the radar.

That was partly through a combination of the government reviewing how much money they spend on promoting the region, and a dearth of really good local players that could promote their offering without government money. But regardless of what happened then, it seems they are back with a bang.

South Africa is positioning itself, once again, as a key player in the BPO market with a focus on customer service, but this time exploring new areas that are different to more traditional outsourcing – social media support and agents that are working entirely off-script, with autonomy to just do what is needed to keep the customer happy.

You might ask what this has to do with Central and Eastern Europe, the general focus of this blog?

The key target for the South Africans is directly to their north, Europe. They are on the same time zone as continental Europe, and have a strong cultural and business affinity with several western European countries. They also use English as standard for education, so kids grow up using English, but other European languages are not hard to find.

So if they re-emerge from the shadows and start winning a number of BPO and IT deals that support business processes in Western Europe, it will remind many that they are still around. Some big names, such as Amazon, have shifted German and British customer support down to South Africa only recently when this might have been expected to stay in the CEE region.

It looks like the football world cup in 2010 has woken the business community to the opportunities in South Africa and the CEE customer service players are going to have to fight a little bit harder to compete.

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

I used to manage the equity trading technology for the French bank SG. It was a pretty big job, with business analysis and support teams in all the major equity trading locations around the world, as well as a development team over in India.

We had a bespoke system built in Lotus Notes to handle change and service requests from the business. As each bug or request was found, the business analysts would assess the importance of the change, along with the business people assessing the priority of their service requests.

So as each version of the trading platform was released to the users, a list of service requests soon built up. The problem was that to the business people, everything was a high priority. They always felt that the system should be more malleable. They never had any concept of how IT systems that are endlessly changed can also become unstable – even more difficult to manage in a globally connected bank trading system that has to operate across time-zones stretching from Japan to the USA.

At the time, we tried moving to an Agile methodology where the system was being updated with fewer changes, but on a much more frequent basis. It helped to give the business users the impression of constant progress, but it never helped with the fact that a service request that was not considered urgent might sit at the bottom of the list for months, or even a year, never touched because it is always replaced by more urgent requests.

By using ITIL my team could have improved this service desk considerably. Less important changes would no longer languish unloved, they would have been highlighted and alternative solutions or workarounds proposed. Even a less important request is still a request that needs to be addressed and the single-point-of-contact rules within ITIL help to avoid it getting lost between teams of business analysts, programmers, and project managers – all tied up trying to deal with urgent enquiries.

The real difference is that in my old company, the IT department controlled the process of listing and prioritising the service requests. Within ITIL, the focus of the change and service request process is always the business user. By adhering to the ITIL guidelines:

1.     It would be the business user that asks for changes

2.     The business user would be updated on progress without the need for status review meetings – it would be a function of how the IT team works

3.     The business user could directly handle queries about their request – without ‘assumptions’ coming from the IT team

In this sense, ITIL is not just a conceptual list of service practices; it is a common sense package of processes that ensure the business user builds confidence in their IT team through open and transparent communication.

Nasscom report from India

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on March 2, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Another Nasscom conference is over. This annual event in Mumbai, India, has grown into the largest and possibly most important outsourcing event in the world, with over 35 countries represented and promoted – much more than just an India-only event.

 There were several formal presentations representing the advantages of a number of different world regions. These included: Colombia, Poland, Germany, UK, South Africa, MENA (Middle-East and North Africa), and Africa in general.

The conference was organised some time ago, so it was interesting to see how the political changes in the news were affecting presentations that were supposed to be only positive. The MENA presentations in particular suffered from the various democratic challenges sweeping the region. But what was interesting to note was how presentations from established regions such as South Africa were so negatively received.

South Africa made a strong play over accent. They claimed to have the most attractive accent for voice agents in the offshore outsourcing market, yet there was very little else to support their claims. Even academics were leaving their session wondering what happened to the previously significant contact centre industry in that region.

Though Poland was the only Central and Eastern European nation actually presenting on the main agenda, they became grouped with both the UK and Germany. All EU nations and all focused far more on the availability of skills, flexibility, and knowledge than just low-cost workers.

The market for offshore outsourcing has changed and matured, so it’s good to see regions such as Poland now aligning their offering with Western Europe. The wider EU has a strong case when pitching for hi-tech work – customers and suppliers have moved on.

Danish Journalist Speaks about Belarus

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on February 21, 2011

From February 17 to February 18, 2011 Karim Pedersen, Technical Editor of the Danish IT newspaper ComOn, visited IBA Minsk.

Karim was in Belarus for the first time in 2006. The visit resulted in a series of articles, including IT Giant in Belarus. This year, he came again to see what has changed and what is going on.

Karim concludes: ”The big lesson from my visit here is that we are very much the same and we are very much alike. We have the same dreams, we have the same aspirations and working hard is the way to get to that future”.

Karim shares his impressions in the video clip below:

View also at IBA Group’s Youtube channel.

We look forward to a new series of articles about Belarus by Karim and to his future visits to IBA.

About Karim Pedersen

Karim Pedersen is the founder of the largest IT news website in Denmark, ComON.dk, writing about technology and telecommunications for readers in Denmark. Founded 14 years ago, ComON has grown through a range of partnerships with other Danish news media, and today the articles are syndicated to a number of other media, reaching a broad segment of the Danish population. ComON has also for four years published a print newspaper for IT managers and is closely linked with other properties at the publishing house, Mediaprovider, such as the monthly gadget magazine Gear and the photography magazine Zoom. Before starting ComON, Karim has published more than 30 books on IT in Danish and worked freelance as a software developer and web designer. Karim has travelled extensively, both in his professional and private life. Writing about IT outsourcing and globalization for ComON, he visited India, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Belarus, and Russia.

IBA Group wins European IT Excellence Award 2011

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on February 14, 2011

On February 11, 2011 IT Europa, a leading European IT publisher and market intelligence organization, announced the winners of the European IT Excellence Awards 2011 – the pan-European awards event for IT and Telecoms channels. The winners and finalists were honoured at a celebration dinner at The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London.

IBA Group became the winner in the category Relationship Management. Alexander Derkach, IBA Group representative, collected the prize.

See video:

Award-winning IBA team
Award-winning IBA team

Crisis in Egypt: political risk back on the outsourcing agenda

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on February 8, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

The crisis in Egypt continues as economists and political analysts attempt to predict where the air of revolution sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East will continue to next.

But, in the past month major analysts, such as Gartner and AT Kearney, have published reports naming Egypt as one of their most recommended offshoring destinations. AT Kearney even placed Egypt as the fourth most attractive location anywhere on earth. How could they have got it so wrong?

That’s a little unfair to the analysts. They have judged Egypt and other countries on fundamental measures such as population, education, and infrastructure. On all those measures Egypt should rank highly. But does the failure of the analysts to predict a wave of civil unrest demonstrate that many commentators in the offshoring industry are ranking political risk as a less important measure than others?

Even the darling of the offshoring community, India, has had a tough time over political risk. It is only a few years since a million troops lined the India-Pakistan border and the talk was of possible tactical nuclear strikes.

India has moved beyond those fears, but the question might be asked whether there has been any fundamental change in their relationship with Pakistan. Could another conflict blow up as quickly again?

Back in Egypt, questions will be asked about how major telephone operators could find their service switched off overnight by a despotic government. And if a government with such absolute control can switch off all telephone and Internet services overnight then surely the same could happen in many of Egypt’s neighbouring countries. Many of those countries are also appealing to the international community for outsourcing contracts. But how safe does it feel now we have seen what can happen?

If political risk is back on the agenda as a key issue in offshoring then working within the European Union will be the safest option for European companies. Other than keeping everything in-house, there can’t be a safer approach to offshoring than working with neighbours who respect the same laws, the same separation of the state from private sector enterprise, and the same respect for democratic representation.

Key outsourcing trends taking place in Great Britain in 2011

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on January 17, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

This blog usually explores opportunities in Eastern Europe, but given that it is the first month of 2011, it’s worth exploring some of the key trends taking place in the most mature European outsourcing market – the United Kingdom.

Outsourcing advisory firm Equaterra just published their key trends for the UK market in 2011, based on examining 650 outsourcing contracts with over 200 companies, worth around £14 billion. Given that so many UK contracts have been examined, it was possible for the Equaterra researchers to draw some conclusions about how Western European customers are behaving, and what they will want in 2011.

Trend 1: Economic conditions are still tough, forcing companies to consider more offshore outsourcing. Eighty-seven per cent of companies will continue offshoring at present or higher levels, but sixty-one per cent will increase offshoring.

Trend 2: Cost reduction continues to be the key driver for offshoring, but financial flexibility is becoming far more important – up fifteen per cent on the previous year.

Trend 3: Global sourcing of services is far more accepted – with over seventy-five per cent of all companies using outsourcing applying some kind of offshore delivery model.

Trend 4: Multisourcing is increasing – with large-scale single-supplier contracts usually linked to low satisfaction with the contract.

Lee Ayling, EquaTerra’s Managing Director, IT Advisory UK, commented: “As in previous years, the 2010 study provides deep insights into the changing dynamics of the UK outsourcing market. One of the many points of note is that outsourcing contracts which deliver cost savings alone do not lead to higher client satisfaction. But successfully delivering cost savings plus another driver, such as access to skills or time to market, does positively impact general satisfaction – highlighting that both end users and service providers should not focus on price alone before and during an outsourcing relationship.”

For the European supplier community, the message is clear, cost remains important, but flexibility is the key. If outsourcing can create more flexible service levels and improve cash flow through more flexible financial models then it will be regarded a success.

CEE Countries Included in Gartner’s Top 30

by Irina for IBA Group
Posted on January 5, 2011

IBA Group

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

The analyst firm Gartner has just published new research on the top locations for offshore services in 2010, based on their analysis of the past year watching the offshoring market. The top thirty countries for offshore services were rated according to 10 criteria that will help determine which locations are right for individual organisations. The 10 criteria were: language, government support, labour pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and data and intellectual property security and privacy. The rating scale was “poor”, “fair”, “good”, “very good” and “excellent”.

So, with five possible scores across ten criteria the results are fairly comprehensive, and so it’s interesting to note that only fast-growing developing economies feature in the top thirty:

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Asia/Pacific: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA): Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Mauritius, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine.

Seven highly developed countries have moved out of the top thirty this year – Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore and Spain. Clearly these locations remain important as nearshoring destinations, but their value compared to other regions is fast declining.

Another interesting fact is that almost a third of all the top thirty countries in the Gartner list are from the Central and Eastern European region – demonstrating that this region is not only important as a nearshoring destination, but is also developing the expertise to sell services to the world.

Additional information is available in the report entitled “Gartner’s 30 Leading Locations for Offshore Services, 2010-2011”.